Gen. Riho Terras, former commander of the Estonian defense forces, is to head the defense division of Estonian unmanned vehicles manufacturer Milrem Robotics.
Terras’ main responsibilities will be establishing Milrem Robotics’ international business development and program support teams, leading the process of gaining a strong foothold in the defense market and bringing end-user specific know-how to the company's strategic research and development activities, Business Wire said.
„Gen. Terras’ strong background and experience put him in a good position to grow the company’s international presence and build up our teams worldwide,“ Kuldar Väärsi, CEO and owner of Milrem Robotics, said. „Our goal is to be the first choice in every upcoming ground robotics program worldwide,“ he added.
„I have gained significant knowledge and built up an international network during my seven years as the commander of the defense forces of Estonia and as a member of the Military Committee of NATO and EU. My special fields of interest have been development of disruptive and cyber technologies,“ Terras said.
Gen. Terras also worked intensively to launch Europe’s defense technologies development and the European Union’s Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) during Estonia’s EU presidency.
„In the last 10 years, Estonia has been able to establish a forward-looking modern defense industry with groundbreaking technologies such as Milrem Robotics’ THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle,“ Terras added.
In the next five years, Milrem Robotics plans to expand significantly. In January, Milrem Robotics opened a subsidiary in Sweden in order to engage skilled and experienced engineers. Väärsi told BNS at the end of last year that the company is just about to establish a subsidiary in the Swedish city of Ornskoldsvik where the office of BAE Systems, the third largest arms manufacturer in the world, is located. Väärsi added that in the last few years, BAE Systems, for one reason or another, have laid off nearly half of their engineers there and Milrem Robotics can see a valuable base of engineers the competence of whom they can bring to the Estonian developments.
„The ground robotics market is looking at exponential growth and our products are very well placed. We foresee significant growth of turnover in 2019, and our number of employees will grow from 85 in 2018 to more than 130 this year,“ Väärsi said.